The Polish men are having their best competitive season so far this summer since winning the 2014 World Championship and after 2 weeks rank 1st in the 2018 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League standings with a 5-1 record. That includes wins over Russia (3-0 sweep), last year’s World League bronze medalists Canada, and France.
That might all be derailed, though, with 30-year old outside hitter and captain Michal Kubiak out for 30 to 60 days while battling chronic conjunctivitis (pink eye) and perhaps peripheral retinal degeneration. Doctors have advised that he not wear contact lenses, and a break in full sporting activity for 30 to 60 days.
Kubiak is the team’s leading scorer through 2 weeks of play, and 15th overall in the tournament, with 68 points – 49 kills, 13 blocks, and 6 aces. He also ranks 12th, hitting 50.52%, and has a .371 hitting efficiency rate.
Poland says that Kubiak will be officially replaced by 22-year old, 6’6″ setter Marcin Komenda on the 21-man roster (allowed because of the injury), and Komenda will immediately enter Poland’s 14-man roster for week 3 in Osaka. Outside hitter Maciej Muzaj, middle blocker Jakub Kochanowski and setter Grzegorz Lomacz were also dropped from the 14-man roster after playing significant rolls in week 2.
Mateusz Beniek takes over as the team’s captain.
Poland will play Italy, Bulgaria (dealing with their own major injury), and Japan in week 3.
Poland 14-Man Roster, Week 3, 2018 FIVB Nations League
- Setters: Marcin Komenda, Fabian Drzyzga
- Outside Hitters: Aleksander Sliwka, Lukasz Kaczmarek, Artur Szalpuk, Damian Schulz, Bartosz Kwolek, Bartosz Bednorz
- Middle Blockers: Piotr Nowakowski, Bartlomiej Lemanski, Mateusz Beniek (captain)
- Opposite: Dawid Konarski, Damian Schulz, Lukasz Kaczmarek
- Libero: Pawel Zatorski, Michal Zurek